Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Junior college safety commits to Arkansas
Safety Tiquention Coleman was one of the six recruits Bret Bielema persuaded to join the Razorbacks after he took the head coaching job at Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas football Coach Bret Bielema received his first oral commitment Wednesday when junior college safety Tiquention Coleman said he will sign with the Razorbacks.
Coleman, 5-10, 194 pounds, 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, played at Georgia Military College and committed to Wisconsin in mid-November. But after Bielema left for Arkansas, the two talked and he took an official visit to Arkansas on Tuesday.
“I came to Arkansas to check it out,” said Coleman, who is from Mauldin, S.C. “I just walked around and checked it out. Being in the SEC is where I want to be and where I want to play, on the big stage, and show my talent.”
Coleman had 44 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 recovered fumbles, 4 interceptions and 2 pass breakups this past season. He also had scholarship offers from Arizona and Mississippi State.
His teammate, linebacker Neville Hewitt, also took an official visit to Arkansas. Hewitt, 6-3, 215, 4.5, doesn’t have a scholarship offer but is drawing strong interest from the Hogs.
Coleman said he was curious if he would have a similar opportunity for playing time at Arkansas like he would at Wisconsin.
“He told me I would be in a better situation,” said Coleman, who plans to enroll in January and will have three years to play two. “That’s why he wants me here. I’ll be in a better situation to come in and contribute right away. He wants to use me as a center block and build his secondary around me.”
Coleman said he was impressed by the fan support when he entered a local restaurant on the first evening of the trip.
“When I walk in, I have people chanting my name and stuff,” Coleman said. “I didn’t know anybody knew my name.”
Coleman is the 18th commitment for Arkansas’ 2013 class. Oral commitments are nonbinding.